fish on Ubuntu on Windows

With the arrival of Windows 10’s anniversary update, the previously announced Windows Subsystem for Linux had been made available as a beta feature for all users to test.

Right now the feature bears the catchy name of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows because that’s precisely what it is. This is a bit of a problem for me as I dropped bash in favor of other shells and I would like to use fish on my Windows system instead.

Changing the default shell

Normally, on any Unix system, changing the default shell can be done with the chsh command. To change the current user’s shell to fish, this is the command that should be entered:

chsh -s /usr/bin/fish

With the Windows Subsystem for Linux however this isn’t as easy as the way to access the Linux environment is from the bash executable itself making it apparently impossible to emply the standard method.

A solution offered here is to create a new shortcut to bash and instructing it to launch fish directly:

%systemroot%\system32\bash.exe -c /usr/bin/fish

Once the shortcut is created, right clicking on it and opening the properties panel will allow you to customize siad shortcut further. It’s a good idea to change the “Start in” directory:

This will start fish in the Windows user directory.

You can also add an icon to your shortcut and you’re done!

You can now use and configure fish as you would on a normal UNIX system.

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